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A Glance At Destiny by Rita Edmond

Vocalist and Ohio native Rita Edmond began singing in the church. Later studies with the highly regarded vocal teacher Evangeline Stewart only helped refine the four-octave vocal instrument that Rita has so sweetly polished over her career. A longtime experienced singer of R&B and pop demos for companies like Motown, BET, MCA, EMI Publishing and Warner-Chappell, left the artist wanting. Two years ago Edmond began to move out and explore more heavily the jazz inflected singing that was in her heart ever since she first fell in love with artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn.

By self-producing this disc Edmond has placed the personal stamp of her many years of professional experience on the entire project. In picking 12 standards and two originals, “You’re My Wings,” and "In Case You Didn't Know" the result is as highly personal a project as any released back-in-the-day when producers used to actually listen to the artists they worked with. Her artistic vision is sure and clear, and comes through on every note.

For example, by pairing the accompaniment back to just guitar and drums on the beginning of “Gentle Rain” Edmond allows us to hear just how smoothly yet clearly she sustains notes. Velvet doesn’t begin to describe the resultant harmonious tones. The beauty of the purity of her voice comes through, because of this background, in the most highly delicate and delicious way. Then when bass, piano and sax come in the tonal shadings are made even more scrumptious.

Her arrangement of the old Bobby Hebb hit “Sunny” is as astute as anything ever recorded. So subtle is the groove you’d never guess that most easily recognizable tune was going to come out of the speakers. By setting up expectations and then cleverly yet delicately changing them Edmond shows herself to be more intelligent than 90 percent of the producers currently working.

The standout track, however, is “It Might As Well Be Swing.” Llew Matthews’ piano is hip, sparse, and lightly dancing throughout. In conjunction with Edward Livingston’s bass lines and Tootie Heath’s drums, which are swing personified, Edmond rocks out in so personal a manner you almost blush. For those who aren’t jaded from listening to standards being done ad-nausea by other artists, Edmond will come as the most refreshing breeze nature can conjure.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Rita Edmond
  • CD Title: A Glance At Destiny
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2010
  • Record Label: T.O.T.I Music
  • Rating: Five Stars
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